dog_groomingWhy why why??  Your adorable little Morkie, Yorkie or Maltese has a dark secret: he eats his own POOP!!! What can you do about it?

First, what’s the problem?

Eating poop, or Coprophagia, is more common than you might think. Vets and animal experts aren’t totally sure why, but here are some of the possibilities.

Dogs are natural-born scavengers.  Since the beginning of time they’ve survived by scavenging and eating scraps. And yes, Morkies come from that same wolf-stock 🙂

Mother dogs automatically clean up.  With a litter, a female Morkie – or any other dog – will clean up the nest by eating her puppies’ waste.

Dogs who are punished for potty accidents, hide the evidence. Sometimes, if a dog is punished too harshly (like rubbing his nose in an “accident”) he’ll want to hide the evidence.  That’s sad that he is that terrified of punishment.

Missing enough vitamin B?  Poop eating could be a response to missing elements in the dog’s diet. Feeding a high quality food can help.

Negative attention is better than no attention.  Is your Morkie lonely or bored? Looking for ANY kind of attention even if it’s scolding? That could be another reason for Coprophagia, or poop eating in your Morkie.

Your dog is just plain hungry. Perhaps she’s not getting enough food, or has worms or other parasites that are taking all the nutrients from her food, leaving little for the dog.  Or if you’re only feeding once a day, that may not be enough for a Morkie – try dividing the food into several portions and serve throughout the day.

coconut_maltese3

Sometimes hunger can prompt poop eating

Dogs just like it! No logic here but poop is warm, moist and chewy…. or makes a good poopsicle in the winter, and dogs are, after all animals.

Putting a stop to poop eating

So how do you curb this problem?

Check with your vet and if your dog is not suffering from parasites and seems to be well nourished, then you need to break the habit.  Here’s how —

  • First, don’t overreact. Be calm and in control.
  • Change his food.
  • Add some canned pumpkin (about a teaspoon for small dogs) to his dinner; it makes the poop very unappealing (although this method does take some time to kick in).
  • As soon as your dog goes potty, cover the poop with hot sauce. It won’t hurt the dog but he sure won’t like it.  You can also try lemon juice.
  • Clean up as soon as your dog goes.
  • When your dog approaches the poop, a firm NO! and then distracting him, can work. Offer him a treat or something positive, and praise when he does in fact ‘leave it.’

Commercial cures for poop eating 

There are a number of over-the-counter treatments you can try, from your local pet store or if all else fails, ask your Vet for something stronger. The Vet can prescribe other treatments.

Remember, it can take a while, but you CAN break your dog of this habit.

Three products from Amazon.com that can help your Morkie stop eating poop!